Central serous choroidopathy
Central serous choroidopathy is a disease that causes fluid to build up under the retina, the back part of the inner eye that sends sight information to the brain. The fluid leaks from the blood vessel layer under the retina. This area is called the choroid.
Central serous retinopathy
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The cause of this condition is unknown.
Men are affected more often than women, and the condition is most common at around age 45, but anyone can be affected.
Stress appears to be a risk factor. Early studies found that people with aggressive, "type A" personalities who are under a lot of stress may be more likely to develop central serous retinopathy.
The condition can also occur as a complication of steroid drug use.
- Dim and blurred blind spot in the center of vision
- Distortion of straight lines with the affected eye
- Objects appearing smaller or farther away with the affected eye
Signs and tests
Your health care provider can usually diagnose central serous choroidopathy by dilating the eye and performing an eye exam. Fluorescein angiography confirms the diagnosis.
It may be done with a noninvasive test called ocular coherence tomography (OCT).
Most cases clear up without treatment in 1 or 2 months. Patients with more severe leakage and more severe visual loss, or those in whom the disease lasts longer, may be helped by laser treatment or photodynamic therapy to seal the leak and attempt to restore vision.
Patients who are using steroid drugs (for example, to treat autoimmune diseases) should stop using them, if possible. Any change in steroid drug use in these conditions must be under the supervision of a physician.
Most patients recover good vision without treatment, although it's often not as good as it was before the condition occurred.
The disease returns in about half of all patients, and has a similarly good outlook. Rarely, patients develop permanent scars that damage their central vision.
A small number of patients will have complications of laser treatment that impair central vision. That is why most patients will be allowed to recover without treatment.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if your vision gets worse.
There is no known prevention. Although there is a clear association with stress, there is no evidence that reducing stress has any benefit in preventing or treating central serous choroidopathy.
Ciardella AP, Kaufman SR, Yannuzzi LA. The use of fluorescein angiography in acquired macular diseases. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins,2009:chap 66.
Weleber RG, Francis PJ. Degeneration and atrophy of the choroid. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. 15th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2009:chap 66.
Wang M, Munch IC, Hasler PW, PrÃ¼nte C, Larsen M. Central serous chorioretinopathy. Acta Ophthalmol. 2008;86:126-145.
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.